Train Like You Fight

A Strong Training Mindset Can Make All The Difference

The U.S. Navy SEALs are arguably the best in the world at what they do. As the recognized masters of maritime special operations, they have few equals. They are comfortable completing any mission, under any circumstance, in any environment. Why?

Because no one takes training and education more seriously than a SEAL.

Theirs is the stuff of legend. Just to become a Navy SEAL, a candidate must undergo 50 weeks of the most physically demanding and mentally challenging instruction imaginable. But that education doesn’t stop once he graduates, receives his Trident and joins a Team. Ask any Frogman and he’ll tell you it’s just the beginning.

He spends countless hours training for the next mission by focusing on his body, his gear and his mindset. Each one, he knows, must perform well if the mission has any chance of success.

Train like you fight.

That’s what they believe.

And that’s something any serious hunter can learn from.

By focusing on your own body, gear and attitude, your odds of filling a tag next fall will improve dramatically. Experience has proven a successful hunt can be directly attributed to a strong training mindset and now’s the time to start thinking about next season.

Train the Body

Being physically fit lets you hunt harder, longer and farther—three things that often define success or failure. When the body is conditioned to react well in physically demanding situations, big things become small things. The hike in becomes easier. The pack becomes lighter. The altitude becomes less of a factor. Even the stress of finding, stalking and downing your animal becomes more manageable.

In other words, it’s much easier to breathe when you’re in shape.

Training now will also help you avoid injuries later; your body will be strong enough to overcome the sore muscles, tired legs and occasional sprains all hunters experience. Before you start any workout program, be sure to talk with your doctor to determine if it’s right for your needs. And eating the proper amount of proteins, carbs and fats will maximize not only your hunting performance but your overall health as well.

Train With The Gear

The comfort level a Navy SEAL has with his gear borders on the surreal. He trains with it so much that it ultimately becomes an extension of himself; using it becomes second-nature and that gives him a distinct advantage in the field.

That’s also why you need to train with your own gear. The more comfortable you are using it now, the more intuitive you’ll be using it when it counts later. You’ll react without thinking. Move more efficiently. Function more effectively. Movement plus moment equals success or failure, and how you act when the time comes will mean everything.

In fact, SIXSITE was born from that desire to streamline functionality. By designing apparel and gear that helps the hunter be more intuitive than cognitive, they can now meet the moment with instinctive action free from distraction. Don’t think about raising the range finder to your eye. Just range the animal.  

The off-season is also the perfect time to assess and reassess your gear. By repairing or replacing old equipment now, you won’t be scrambling a week before next season’s hunt to fix that leaky tent or sharpen those old broad heads.

New purchases should be tested in the backyard before the backcountry. Shoot at that 3D target while wearing your new SIXSITE Gunnison Soft Shell Jacket to see how it affects your shot (it won’t). Fire up and take apart that new stove, break in those new boots and learn how to use every feature of your new GPS unit from the comfort of your own home first. The more familiar you are with the gear here, the more confidence you’ll have when you need it out there. 

Train The Mind

Ask any current or former SEAL and he’ll tell you the brain is the strongest muscle in the body. It’s the one that allows you to overcome any physical limitation or unexpected situation, and it doesn’t require a gym membership to strengthen it.

Improving your mental preparation can be as simple as figuring out how to properly read a USGS Topo map, learning how to tie a few new knots or taking a wilderness first aid course. You can improve your ability to read animal tracks and signs, forecast incoming weather by interpreting the type of clouds above you or even practice making fire without a match—anything that pushes you beyond your current level of skill or understanding.

The more you know, the more confidence you’ll have. And that confidence is often what separates a successful hunt from a frustrating one; you won’t get rattled as quickly when things go south. A broken shoelace, bad weather or a growing blister on your left heel no longer becomes an issue. You simply work through the problem and move forward.   

At the end of the day, hunting is little more than a game of chance. You can’t control the weather, the wind or how animals will behave. But you do have command over how you physically and mentally respond to a given situation. In fact, your training is the only factor completely in your control.

Legend has it an anonymous SEAL once summed it up best. “Under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion. You sink to the level of your training.”

Start training now for your next hunt and you won’t sink far.


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